What happens when a flu virus gets into your body

This video produced by NPR has brilliant animations to show what happens when a virus enters a person’s body, notably entry into a cell’s nucleus and the expansion of the viral pool. It is not meant to be a horror movie, but when you think about it, you will see that it can be very scary. Obviously, what you will see is not only relevant to the influenza virus, but also to SARS-CoV-2.

How do viruses jump from animals to humans? Ben Longdon

You have all heard about viruses in animals making the jump to humans (zoonosis), and with a few further mutations, these viruses can be transmitted from one person to another. This video will give you a broad perspective of how this occurs.

When is a pandemic over?

This is something that all of us have been asking this past year. Here you will see the options we have had. Keep this in mind as there will be more pandemics that humans will face in the future. This video makes it clear that we cannot simply look at our own country and think we are better off than that guy living elsewhere. It is a small world after all.

COVID-19 explained & what you should do

Who has not learned a lot about COVID-19 recently? Scientists have been learning more and more about this virus, whether natural immunity develops after a person was infected, and better treatments for this showing strong symptoms. Here you might learn a few things you had not known, even the fact that our own body can betray us (e.g. cytokine storm). Obviously prevention is better than treatment. Again, it is not new to most of us, but behaviours can be adopted to limit viral spread. Yet, there are a lot of dunces out there who are endangering all of us.

What is a coronavirus? - Elizabeth Cox

Here we learn about corona viruses (including the virus that produces COVID-19) and how they come to affect us, and why it can be so difficult to develop vaccines. It also explains how a virus in animals comes to affect humans.

Vaccinations and anti-vaccination: illogical logic

As most readers will likely know, there has been an increasing anti-vaxxer movement. This SciShow video provides a very excellent perspective about cognitive biases in relation to why some people behave as they do regarding vaccination and many others behaviours.

Don’t be a jerk. Get a flu vaccination

This brief, but terrific Risk Bites video tells us why people might choose not to be vaccinated, and why they should.


While we are on the topic of vaccines, here are a couple of SciShow video, this time dealing with the potential measles comeback. The video covers how vaccination works, and what herd immunity means. What herd immunity does not mean is ‘let enough people get infected, then the rest of us will be safe’.

How measles gets into us and how infected cells spread within a person

Measles is pretty awful, but it has been infrequent owing to vaccination programmes. This video will tell you how measles defies the body’s defences, and how our immune system fights back. However, even if you beat it, risks for other illnesses will continue because your own immune system is worn down for some time. This simple whiteboard analysis (from Risk Bites) narrated by Professor Brian Zikmund-Fisher tells you a little about our appraisals and fears regarding measles, and why some people seem not to be all that concerned about its spread.

The deadliest viruses

Some viruses are easily spread (e.g. measles), whereas others are more difficult to pass on. When viruses infect people they may have short or long incubation periods, and differentially effective in killing the host. Do you have any idea which viruses are most infectious and which are deadliest? This SciShow video will let you know which are the most efficient killers, although this does not mean that they are the most dangerous. They all happen to be zoonotic, initially originating in animals (Nipah, H5N1 (bird flu), Marburg, ZEBOV, rabies).


This sample video produced by Nucleus Medical Media offers an illustrated, informative description of HIV invasion of the immune system and the eventual spread across many cells. Ultimately the development of opportunistic infections occur and multiple illness can develop. The video also describes several anti-retroviral treatments that limits the spread of HIV within an individual.

Just a cold

When people get sick, even with a cold, they often feel that they should still go to work, as they believe that they are not sick enough to stay home. The rest of us very much wish that the sneezing, coughing martyr would have stayed home. This Typhoid Mary or Typhoid Murray spreads their germs so that many others are affected. This Discovery video tells you how easy it is to spread cold virus, and offers the best advice – send the carriers home.

Migration of plagues occurred in only one direction only

When Europeans came to the Americas, they spread numerous diseases to the indigenous inhabitants, wiping out almost 90% of these civilizations. You probably have not wondered why plagues present in the Americas did not affect the Europeans. It is an interesting question and the answer is straight forward as you can see from the link in the mental-floss presentation.